Food For Thoughtlessness EP
Dylan Donkin used to be in a band called Echobrain with ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newstead. But don’t let that fool you into second-guessing what he sounds like. In fact, listening to new EP Food For Thoughtlessness it’s possible that Mr Donkin himself isn’t exactly sure what his sound is. But first a bit of post-Echobrain history:
After the band were caught up in a lawsuit with rival band called Echodrain (who’d have thought a band called Echodrain would have lawyers?), Donkin decided to do one and headed to Hawaii, where most admirably he developed a music teaching programme to help parents and children interact musically. And it’s that sort of optimism, coupled with an inevitable laidback Island vibe, that runs through the 6 songs.
It’s a few stadium sizes away from metal monsters Metallica, but this isn‘t just one surf dude and his guitar a la Jack Johnson. Like Alec Guinness playing 8 members of the same family in Ealing classic Kind Hearts and Coronets or Eddie Murphy playing fat clan The Klumps in Hollywood film: Nutty Proffesor 2, the 6 songs that make up this EP may share the same mellow genetics, but are varied enough to showcase the considerable talents of Mr Donkin.
In mood, it’s a record of two halves (or 'sides'). Single Make a Choice is effortlessly upbeat in a hazy lazy kind of way. You can almost hear the Hawaiian tide breaking on the shore, as a slide guitar works its way over simple bass lines and gentle brushwork on the drums on Diatom Blues and what’s not to like about putting handclaps in a song called Depression Yesterdays. For the second half Donkin, ever sensitive, gets a bit darker. Fall Through The Wall and its slightly reverbed vocal recall Jim James or Neil Young. Instumental The Commonaut is probably the most interesting, a talented yet troubled piano, drunk and misunderstood, wails at the world as a quiet lead quitar agrees and a small choir commentates. And finally, Yolk bids farewell like a slightly more positive unplugged Kurt Cobain.
It will be interesting to see how Donkin pulls this altogether on a full-length album; will it sound like an album rather than simply a collection of (very good) songs? Until we find out, the Food For Thoughtlessness EP is an intriguing and excellent appetizer, whetting the appetite for the main course to come.
25th Sep 2007 - Tumblr3.5
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